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New NDSU head coach Klieman filling out staff

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 6, 2014 at 4:32 pm •  Published: January 6, 2014
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FARGO, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota State head football coach Chris Klieman brought three of his new assistant coaches to Fargo on Monday for introductions, but they weren't staying long.

Klieman said offensive coordinator and running backs coach Tim Polasek, defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Matt Entz, and quarterbacks coach Randy Hedberg have recruiting obligations to fulfill, primarily to make sure that players who have given verbal commitments won't back out now that previous head coach Craig Bohl has departed for Wyoming.

Bohl's Bison won their third straight Football Championship Subdivision title Saturday with a 35-7 win over Towson.

"We're going to be crazy here until Feb. 5 on the signing date," Klieman said. "That's the other reason I'm so excited these guys are here. I know how important recruiting is to those guys. You're talking about three tremendous recruiters and these guys have great track records."

Polasek returns to NDSU after one season at Northern Illinois. He previously spent seven years with the Bison program, starting as a graduate assistant in 2006. He was named running backs coach in 2007 and also served as special teams coordinator, and was the fullbacks and tight ends coach in 2012.

Polasek said he would not have been ready to direct the Bison offense without his year at Northern Illinois, which included a berth in a bowl game.

"It was with conviction that I felt that with that experience I could do this job," Polasek said.

Entz spent the last season at Western Illinois as associate head coach and defensive line coach. Before that he was the defensive line coach at Northern Iowa for two years and the defensive coordinator in 2012. He coached with Klieman at Northern Iowa in 2010, Klieman's final year as defensive coordinator of the Panthers.

"You talk about a great program, a program that's done thing that other programs wish they could, this is it," Entz said.

Hedberg, a North Dakota native, is a veteran coach who will take over the Bison quarterbacks after six seasons in that role at Southern Illinois. He was the head coach at St. Cloud State for nine seasons (1999-07) and at Minot State for eight seasons (1982-89), compiling a 92-74-2 mark overall.

Eventually, Klieman said, Polasek will spearhead recruiting in Wisconsin, Entz in the Minneapolis area, and Hedberg in North Dakota and western Minnesota. Those coaches will be going in all different directions because of the short window to signing day, the Bison coach said.

"We're just kind of splitting it up right now and saying, 'you hit these five guys, you hit these five guys' and so on and so forth," Klieman said.

Hedberg, a former assistant coach at the University of North Dakota, will now be competing with UND for recruits, which he called an interesting dynamic. An important part of the job will be convincing non-scholarship in-state players to walk on, he said.

"We're going to try and get to every school in North Dakota," Hedberg said.

Klieman announced earlier that current NDSU assistant coaches Nick Goeser and Conor Riley would stay on staff. Goeser is the defensive tackles coach and has taken over as the program's recruiting coordinator. Riley will move to offensive line coach after spending one season as the tight ends and running backs coach.

Klieman has yet to name a secondary coach, wide receiver coach, tight ends and fullback coach, two graduate assistants and a video coordinator.

Klieman was named the 30th head coach in NDSU history on Dec. 15, succeeding Bohl, who went 104-32 over 11 seasons from 2003-13 and was hired by Wyoming on Dec. 8. Bohl stayed with the Bison for their playoff run.


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